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VCB eNews, Volume 12, #22: Farewell March

Volume 12, #22:  Farewell, March
Shelley Porter, Editor
Editorial: Farewell March
Rides Captain’s Report:
Notices of Rides and Events
Loose Chain Links
Bike Buy and Sell
About That Funny


“[Building] piecemeal bike infrastructure is like building half a soccer pitch and then complaining that nobody uses it”
  • Gil Penalosa, former parks commissioner, Bogota, Colombia

March is the sound a polar bear makes biting off a seal’s head: kind of smooth at first, then a rising growl deep in the throat expanding to wide open and ending with a sharp consonant crunch. The Spring Equinox is in March, always a mockery in Canada where winter often hangs on past mid-April and can surprise you by coming back unwelcome in early May, like that codependent boyfriend from high school who “just can’t let go”.
March of 2015 granted Cape Breton schoolchildren many days off, but narcissistically stole back the time by hurling storms through March Break that cancelled travel plans and sports camps. I remember when I was a schoolchild, eagerly anticipating that weeklong break in what passes for Spring in Nova Scotia, and wondering if it was going to be the kind of March Break where you went cross-country skiing or the kind where you went bicycling. Having the time for all-day ski excursions at just subzero temperatures could be blissful, but there was something about getting that bike out that felt like truly kicking up your heels to school and to winter. Long days of bicycling were reminiscent of high summer, even though in March you shivered in your jean jacket, secretly regretting having scoffed at your mother when she advised wearing a scarf.
Although 2015 gave us without hesitation a cross-country skiing March, at the end (yes, even that final day when it snowed another 15cm) there were signs winter was accepting we were done with it. I noticed it first on the hills as I rode my bicycle through Westmount – I could actually bicycle, and not just fight to stay upright on ridges of snow interspersed with sheens of ice. I sped up a little. My cheekbones did not instantly freeze. Something about winter relented in March, even as it loomed over us on the roadsides as snowbanks twice my cycling height.
Farewell, March, the farewell march of winter. The novelty of walls of snow alongside my driveway so high I feel like I am emerging from the bat cave when I take my car out has worn off.
No, we cannot still be friends after we break up.
Entrance to Open Hearth Park in Sydney. There are trails for cycling, running, and walking somewhere under all that snow. (S.Porter, photo).
Laura Porter-Muntz’s horse, Twistin Junior Toffee, expresses his delight at finding, for the first time in months, snow that is not up over his knees. (S. Porter, photo)
You may or may not know that the average age of Velo Cape Breton’s members skews over 50. With that in mind, here is something I think you will all like simply because we all grew up in that era:
The Beatles  Just click on the link for a great 3 minutes.
It is very appropriate as the weather does seem to have changed for the better - good news because the Velo opening banquet/ potluck is going to be on the 2nd of May. We are doing something different this year and will include a minimum 30km ride. The potluck itself will be held at the Mira Boat Club. More details will follow in the coming weeks but pencil it in - it is already close. By the time you read this, it should be listed on the Velo Cape Breton website under “upcoming events”. Even if you do not do the ride, come for the social, and give this year’s board members some input into what you would like to see done. And while it is not safe to ride and listen to music, take a few minutes and check out some of those other nostalgic Beatles tunes. Good riding everyone.  JP
Editor’s Note: I’d rather listen to Mo Kenney.
River Ride and BBQ: Your VCB executive is pleased to announce our Season’s Opening Ride!
Saturday, May 2nd, 2015, 2 pm to 8 pm (approx.)
As a change-up from previous years, in place of our “Opening Banquet” we have decided instead to invite you to enjoy an early season bike ride followed by a BBQ. This event will be held at the Mira Boat Club, 545 Hillside Rd., where we can enjoy a 30 km ride along the river followed by a BBQ. Come on out, enjoy some cycling socialization, and get a look at our 2015 Rides Schedule. Bring some friends - we are always hoping for new members for our club. Membership forms will be available for those who have not yet renewed or joined for the 2015 season. Not interested in riding this early? No problem, just join us for the food and festivities!
We will be cooking up steak and several sides, as well as dessert. Cost will be $18 per person for adults and $10 for children under age 10. No need to worry about bringing food. We’ll even cook up some Portobello mushrooms for the vegetarians! (We aim to please). There will be a cash bar. Tickets will be available starting April 20/2015 on our website via Paypal.
Registration starts at 2:30pm; ride starts at 3:00; social hour from 5-6 pm; and meal served at 6pm.
So get your bikes out, pump up the tires, and get out your warm cycling clothes! We’re ready to ditch the snowshoes and skis!
No fear:
Your brain on bicycling:
A camper you can tow with your bicycle:
Active Transportation trails are good for the economy:
Survey on lifting the ban on hunting on Sundays in NS:
Can bike lanes connect divided communities:
Putting our B52ers to shame:
For Sale: Crank Brothers premium eggbeater style cleats, never used, still in the box. $10. Contact
FOR SALE: Two mountain bikes, one Giant Rincon 6061 aluxx, frame size 14 in., $300; one Norco XFR, frame size 15, $300. Both about 4 years old, rarely used, stored inside. Will sell together for $500. Contact Heather at
Snow Joke
Harry and Martha drank their coffee as they listened to the morning weather report.

"There will be 5 to 10 cm of snow today. You must park your cars on the odd-numbered side of the street."

Harry got up from his coffee to move the car.

Two days later, they sat down with their cups of coffee and listened to the weather forecast.

"There will be 2 to 5cm of snow today. You must park your cars on the even-numbered side of the street."

Harry got up from his coffee to move the car.

Three days later, they tuned in to the weather report.

"There will be 10 to 20 cm of snow today. You must park your cars on the... ." The power went off.

He said to Martha, "What am I going to do now?"
Martha said, "Just leave the car in the garage."
Velo Cape Breton is the island-wide voice of cyclists, working for better cycling in our great island. Visit our website that will introduce you to some of our activities.   If you have any question(s) or suggestion(s), please contact us
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